Using Your CPAP’s Ramp Feature to Fall Asleep

There’s a funny conundrum involved with CPAP treatment: we use this device to treat a condition which keeps us up at night or, at the very least, keep us from getting a truly restorative night of rest, but it’s often the cause of troubled sleep, especially in the beginning. So, what’s going on here? One of the most frequent complaints regarding the use of a continuous positive airway pressure machine is that it’s tough to fall asleep while trying to exhale against the pressured air. Can you imagine trying to nap with your head out the window of a convertible car?

CPAP machines provide a continuous flow of air meant to keep the sleep apnea sufferer’s throat from free from obstruction. This process ensures that the user has adequate oxygenation all night and protection from the many health issues associated with sleep apnea such as high blood pressure, depression, and stroke. But, this pressured air can be a real bother and prevent people from falling asleep. The solution? The use of a “ramp” feature on their machine.

What is the ramp feature?

On your CPAP, the ramp feature allows for the slow build-up of air pressure. When in use, the ramp feature begins by providing air at a much smaller pressure setting than the sleep apnea sufferer’s prescribed setting. This gives the patient time to get accustomed to pressured air in increments so that they can fall asleep without anxiously breathing against high pressured air.

Does the ramp feature interfere with treatment?

It may seem counterproductive to have your CPAP machine initially fixed to a setting other than your prescribed level. Wouldn’t this defeat the purpose of treatment? Thankfully, this is not so. Since sleep apnea events, or moments without breath only occur while you’re sleeping, the ramp feature promotes better treatment by giving you time to fall asleep rather than interfering with it. Using your CPAP’s ramp setting, you’ll have the benefits of sleep apnea treatment with less bother.

Do all CPAP machines have ramp features?

Not all CPAP machines have ramp features, but many of them do. Take a quick search on any sleep apnea supply store’s website and you’ll find plenty of them. If you’re looking to find a CPAP machine with the best ramp feature, we suggest the very popular Philips System One Remstar. This machine comes with a heated humidifier as well as this handy ramp feature so that the air you’re breathing in is also warm and non-drying.

You’ll find quality CPAP machines on with plenty of excellent features. If, after trying out the ramp feature, you’re still struggling to fall asleep, get in touch with our professional sleep team. We’re made up of registered nurses, respiratory therapists and physicians who are all dedicated to sleep apnea treatment. We’re full of ideas about the promotion of that restorative rest you’ve been struggling to achieve.